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Nutrients 2015, 7(6), 4995-5019; doi:10.3390/nu7064995

Hepatic Steatosis as a Marker of Metabolic Dysfunction

Center for Human Nutrition and Atkins Center of Excellence in Obesity Medicine, Washington University School of Medicine, St. Louis, MO 63110, USA
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Received: 8 April 2015 / Revised: 5 June 2015 / Accepted: 15 June 2015 / Published: 19 June 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Lipoprotein Metabolism and Atherosclerosis)
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Abstract

Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is the liver manifestation of the complex metabolic derangements associated with obesity. NAFLD is characterized by excessive deposition of fat in the liver (steatosis) and develops when hepatic fatty acid availability from plasma and de novo synthesis exceeds hepatic fatty acid disposal by oxidation and triglyceride export. Hepatic steatosis is therefore the biochemical result of an imbalance between complex pathways of lipid metabolism, and is associated with an array of adverse changes in glucose, fatty acid, and lipoprotein metabolism across all tissues of the body. Intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) content is therefore a very good marker (and in some cases may be the cause) of the presence and the degree of multiple-organ metabolic dysfunction. These metabolic abnormalities are likely responsible for many cardiometabolic risk factors associated with NAFLD, such as insulin resistance, type 2 diabetes mellitus, and dyslipidemia. Understanding the factors involved in the pathogenesis and pathophysiology of NAFLD will lead to a better understanding of the mechanisms responsible for the metabolic complications of obesity, and hopefully to the discovery of novel effective treatments for their reversal. View Full-Text
Keywords: NAFLD; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; liver steatosis; glucose metabolism; lipid metabolism; insulin resistance; obesity; fatty acid metabolism; lipolysis; VLDL secretion NAFLD; nonalcoholic fatty liver disease; liver steatosis; glucose metabolism; lipid metabolism; insulin resistance; obesity; fatty acid metabolism; lipolysis; VLDL secretion
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Fabbrini, E.; Magkos, F. Hepatic Steatosis as a Marker of Metabolic Dysfunction. Nutrients 2015, 7, 4995-5019.

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